Looks Like University Of Illinois - Josh Plohr

Feb 17, 2019

OK so this will be a weird one for me to write. I do not know Josh Plohr, nor do I know his family, but I "know" them. My youngest son went to high school with his older brother. I had lunch at his mom's restaurant last Tuesday. St. Louis is a big city, but it's a small town.

His high school is also the high school where Cory Patterson was an assistant coach before he moved on to Trinity Catholic. It's where my youngest son played high school football. It's where I've wished we would focus our recruiting efforts in St. Louis for about eight years now (ever since my middle son was a sophomore asking me to drive him to games on Friday nights which was around the time that the football team started it's run to the top of the Missouri rankings and a #12 national ranking this year). Since that season (2010), CBC hasn't lost a conference game and has won three state titles.

And it has produced a crazy number of college recruits this decade. My son's senior class alone produced had two kids going to Arkansas, one to Duke, and one to Army (my son was not one of them). Last year, CBC sent two wide receivers to Ohio State. This year, it was a defensive end to Minnesota, a tight end to Missouri, a quarterback to Miami (Ohio), a running back to Kent State, and now an offensive lineman to Illinois. As a one-time assistant in this current CBC coaching regime, here's hoping Cory Patterson makes a long-term connection there.

(A quick note. As I said at the time when I made my "I don't like the Patterson hire" post, part of that was "wait, the assistant coach on my son's JV team in 2012 is supposedly ready to be a full-time college assistant in 2018?" If you have a sophomore son playing JV football right now, imagine me telling you that one of the assistant coaches on that JV team was going to be an Illinois assistant in 2024. You'd probably think that was a bit too quickly to rise through the high school and college ranks. But be careful - like me, you might be wrong.)

OK, so the first comp here is DeJazz Woods in 2010. It was after signing day, we still had roster spots open, 99.4% of all FBS players had already signed with schools, but we needed reinforcements so we found someone still available (similar to, say, Greg Eboigbodin during Underwood's first summer). Woods was a full-on project, but by his fifth year, he was a contributor. In fact, 5th-year senior Woods started in front of now-in-the-NFL sophomore Dawuane Smoot on the 2014 Heart Of Dallas Bowl team.

Josh Plohr had a bunch of MAC offers, waited for a P5 offer to come, offers never came (I'm assuming - his profile doesn't list any), and here he was, two weeks after Signing Day, still with no destination. Along comes Illinois, a school that has seen five offensive linemen transfer after the season, and he visits, gets an offer, and signs.

He comes from an athletic family. His brother (the one my youngest son knew in high school) went to play baseball at St. Louis University (and later Carson-Newman in Tennessee). His dad played baseball in college here in St. Louis (Missouri Baptist). His grandfather played basketball for Guy Lewis at Houston (pre-Phi Slama Jama). I believe his uncle also played college football.

Plohr gives Illinois another player from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's "Super 30" football recruits going to Illinois. If you're keeping score at home (I know I am), that's now #1 (Isaiah Williams), #4 (Shammond Cooper), #12 (Moses Okpala), #14 (Keith Randolph), and #28 (Plohr) going to Illinois. Plohr was the only player on the list who hadn't selected a school on Signing Day (and #29 on the list is headed to Missouri and #30 to Minnesota), so this wasn't that much of a stretch to add him two weeks after signing day.

But it was still a stretch. This is still a project recruit. Which is fine - offensive linemen are almost always projects. Gabe Megginson was a four-star with Ohio State and Penn State offers but he didn't work out for whatever reason. Doug Kramer was a 2-star who we added well after signing day in 2016 and he's going to be a four-year starter at center. I mean, the whole reason my Asamoah Award is name the Asamoah Award is because there are 2-star recruits who have 4-star potential.

So add him to the pile, get him in the weight room, and we shall see in a few years. With these five offensive linemen leaving since December 1st, we need numbers, so if nothing else, this helps the numbers. He has the height (6'-5"/6'-6") and the frame to be able to play at this level, so now it will be seen if he can build some solid footwork once he's 310 lbs.

With Tom Cruises, I can't go very high here. This is a project recruit. I'm between 1 and 1.5 Cruises, and because the chicken wings at his mom's restaurant are so good, I'm bumping him to the higher one.

Josh Plohr - One and one-half Tom Cruises


uilaw71 on February 18 @ 05:44 AM CST

Appreciate the solid reporting, and fact-based analysis. THIS is why we subscribe.

GilThorpe on February 18 @ 08:39 AM CST

many many times , one of the best guys to have on the team, EVEN IF he doesn't start or get a lot of action, is the Rudy character. The guy with a positive attitude, with a chip on his shoulder, ready , willing and able to do whatever the coaches ask. I've seen so many 2* OL recruits go on to have great college careers, that I don't ever question why the staff gives those guys offers. Often times their contributions go un-noticed to the casual fan.

DB50 on February 18 @ 02:20 PM CST

I appreciate the analysis and also including the "Super 30" list. Illinois is solidly growing their recruiting "roots" in the St. Louis area, thanks in no small part to Cory Patterson. True, he did rise fast up the coaching chain, but it was a gamble that, so far, has paid dividends for Lovie.

ktal on February 18 @ 05:52 PM CST

One thing to keep in mind about Coach Patterson is that he made a career change into coaching, which put him on the first rung of the ladder. People who change careers b/c of passion are often a steal for their next employer. That appears to have been the case with Coach P. I'm glad we've got him.

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